Beca looked nervous and it was weird.
Like, just super weird.
There had been times when she was sure Beca was nervous. Their first finals, every final after that, the worlds. But she never really looked nervous in those moments, she just became… Fidgety. Fidgety and a little bit hyper. Like a kid that had had too much sugar and couldn’t calm down. Or a squirrel that had been caught and hadn’t yet chosen whether fight or flight was the appropriate response.
She also became a bit of a blurter, saying everything that came to her mind as if keeping it just in her head would somehow ruin the performance. Which turned out not to be such a bad thing when before their second finals performance she blurted out to Chloe that she ‘loved everything about you, including your Ariel hair no matter what all those kids in your elementary school said’. Not super eloquent but that had always been Beca’s style. Besides, the sexual tension between those two was beginning to suffocate the rest of the girls. It’s not like Chloe herself was overly fussed on the delivery when she got to shove her tongue down the brunette’s throat, much to everyone else’s disgust.
But now Beca looked properly nervous. Her fidgeting had somehow increased tenfold if the three ripped up napkins were anything to go by. They were ripped up before she even got there as well, she didn’t know whether to be proud or concerned. When she shook her hand, which was also weird, it was shaking and sweaty, making her face scrunch up in revulsion. Beca must have seen her because her face paled to the point of matching her own pristine blouse before rubbing her hands along her jeans and releasing a strained chuckle that seemed anything but real.
She didn’t know what was going on, but if she wasn’t so concerned, she would almost think it was funny seeing her so put out.
She and Beca had grown closer over the last few years, though it was through no fault of their own. Originally, neither had intended to spend time with one another outside of the Bellas, but their girlfriends had other plans. As much as she loved both Chloe and Stacie, locking her and Beca in a room together with ‘conversation starter’ cue cards was not the fantastic idea the other girls thought it would be. In fact, it lead to an argument so huge that Beca ended up dislocating her shoulder in an attempt to shoulder barge the door down. Turns out the cue card with ‘ask me about my controlling father’ was not the best bonding topic. On the bright side, the two of them had a proper conversation about their fathers while she visited Beca in the hospital and ever since then they became fond of one another. Not that either of them would ever admit it.
“Okay, Midget,” That made Beca’s eyes snap up and narrow slightly. “What did you do this time?”
“Why do you assume I’ve done something?” Beca retorted, arms automatically folding in front of her chest in a defensive gesture. “How do you know it wasn’t Chloe that did something, huh?”
“Well, firstly, Chloe is a God damn angel that literally shits unicorns and vomits rainbows.” Beca smirked at both her use of language and the image, knowing it was pretty much true. “Secondly, she’s my best friend, she would have called me the second something went down between you two as usual which leads me to believe that she doesn’t even know we’re here. And thirdly, you look like you’re ready to projectile vomit across this table and I would know. So since I didn’t bring an umbrella and this is my good shirt, why don’t you tell me why we’re really here?”
Beca actually looked ready to argue that last point but seemed to fold in on herself at the last second, resigning herself to the fact that Aubrey was not too far from the truth.
“Wow, Beca Mitchell backing down from a fight, this must be serious.” She laughed while taking a sip of her coffee but frowned immediately after when Beca, once again, refused to take the bait. “Okay, now you’re starting to scare me. What’s going on in that tiny little head of yours?”
“I just…” Beca paused and looked at her hands. She hadn’t seen her look this vulnerable since the hospital. “I… You know I love Chloe, right? Like, head over heels and all that shit?”
Aubrey’s eyes narrowed at that. Taking in her anxious shifting and tense posture she came to one awful conclusion. She leaned in and dropped her voice to nothing more than a feral growl. “If you’re here to tell me that you cheated on my best friend I swear to god Rebeca Mitchell they will not be able to identify your body.”
“What!” Beca’s eyes almost popped out of her head and she was left floundering, almost unable to form the proper words to express how shocked she was. “What, no! Aubrey, no I would never… Honestly, you know how I feel about cheating after my dad and… No, Aubrey no I swear I didn’t, and never will.”
“Good.” Seeing her signature smirk plastered across Aubrey’s face made Beca want to smack her own on the table because she knew that little rant was at worth at least one year of teasing. “So how about you grow some lady balls and tell me why you’re about ten seconds away from having a heart attack.”
Beca seemed to take a big calming breath, steeling herself before connecting steel blue to emerald green. Aubrey was a little surprised by the sheer determination she found in them, especially considering how the rest of the day had gone so far. Aubrey knew this look and refrained from commenting or even talking at all as it was Beca’s ‘give me a second before I start to spill my heart out’ look.
“I love Chloe. With my entire soul and being. She’s everything to me and, if I’m lucky, she feels the same about me. I don’t know what I did to deserve to have her in my life but I swear that as long as she’ll have me I will treat her like the fucking princess she is. No matter how oblivious I was to her feelings towards me for those first few years, since then I have done everything I possibly can to keep her happy, and to keep her safe and loved. She’s my world, Aubrey, and I want it to be that way for a long time.”
“Okay?” Aubrey responded slowly, not entirely sure what was happening. “And why are you telling me this? This seems like something you should probably be talking about with Chloe.”
“Well, I am.” Beca stuttered, determination seeping out of her voice and returning to sheepish. “I mean, I will. The reason I’m telling you this is because you are probably the most important person in Chloe’s life, apart from her parents, which I’ve already done. Anyway, I feel like since you were kids, you and Chloe have shared everything together. You’ve always been there for each other and, despite our initial… differences, I think you and I have gotten quite close as well.”
Aubrey couldn’t hold in her chuckle then, half at Beca admitting their shared fondness for each other and the other half because she had never seen Beca turn so red. A quick pointed glare from the blushing girl made Aubrey mime zipping her lips together and throwing away the key. While it earned her Beca’s trademark eye roll, the girl continued anyway.
“So, I think you know that I would do anything for Chloe, and that I’m good for her. We both know that Chloe has never been happier with anyone than she is with me.”
Aubrey thought back to all the other people she had seen Chloe date and couldn’t help but nod in agreement. As much as she loved the redhead, she had the worst taste in partners. From Dandruff Danielle all the way to fuckboy Tom, Chloe always ended up snuggled into her best friend’s side sobbing over a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough. But even when the girl’s boyfriend or girlfriend didn’t treat her like dirt, Chloe had never smiled at any of them the way she did at Beca. The full grin made her look like an idiot but she looked like an idiot that was head over heels in love.
“So what I really brought you here for, Aubrey, was to ask for your blessing to ask Chloe to marry me.”
“What the fuck!” The words had left her mouth before she even fully comprehended them. And on top of that, she had just screamed profanity in the middle of a crowded café. Most of the patrons were glaring at her but the staff behind the counter just smirked. The four girls were regulars here, coming to adore the elderly owners and vice versa. Ida and Joe were two of the sweetest people any of them had ever met but also knew how to properly tear someone a new one when needed. Beca’s words, not Aubrey’s. Like the time someone had yelled ‘dykes’ at the group. The man promptly found his lap covered in boiling hot coffee that had been ‘accidently’ spilled there before Ida dragged the man up by his ear and physically dragged him out of the shop. No one would say such cruel things about their girls. Still, despite their closeness they had not seen Aubrey as anything other than calm, cool and collected. Therefore Aubrey’s screech of indignation was nothing but hilarious to the couple, which they took to mimicking almost every time they saw the blonde afterwards.
Aubrey shrunk down in her chair at the glares and saw Beca do the same. However, the other girl seemed to have curled in on herself, horror and embarrassment etched on her face much to Aubrey’s chagrin.
“No,” Aubrey immediately set to rectify her mistake. “Beca, stop doing that, you look like a kicked puppy. C’mon, you just took me by surprise, that’s all. I’m sorry. It could have been worse, I could have puked all over you.”
Beca watched her with suspicious eyes for a moment before clearing her throat and sitting up. She reached into her leather jacket pocket to produce a non-descript, black ring box. She all but threw it on the table with a disgruntled mumble of ‘I’m not a puppy’.
Aubrey opened the ring box and her heart melted at the sight. A single silver band wrapped elegantly around a light blue gem stone, smaller diamonds also speckled across the top. It was beautiful, but more importantly it was something that Chloe would absolutely love. Chloe had never liked flashy or showy rings, especially ones with massive gemstones that projected too far from the ring itself, determining them to be too annoying as they easily get caught on things. However, it was the blue gemstone in the middle that caught Aubrey’s, and she was sure would catch Chloe’s, attention the most as she could almost guarantee it was the same shade as the redhead’s eyes.
“I um, designed it.” The brunette’s voice was small and awkward, obviously having deemed Aubrey’s silence to have gone on too long. “With the help of a professional, of course. I forgot what the stone was called, but I asked the lady to pick a gem that would match her eyes properly. I gave her a picture of Chloe but none of them seemed to work. They just didn’t look right, you know? The blue was too dark or too light. I’m pretty sure the lady was ready to wring my neck. She ended up bringing me into the back room where they kept them all along with about five security guards. It took me three hours and 47 minutes to pick that one and I’m just so happy I didn’t settle.”
“Me too.” Aubrey breathed out before sliding the ring onto her finger. “It fits, which means it’s going to fit hers, nice sizing Mitchell, or should I say Beale?”
“Well firstly,” Beca started, relaxing a little at Aubrey’s teasing tone. “You have yet to actually give me any sort of blessing to move in on your girl. Secondly, Beca Beale? What am I, a comic book character? Please. I’m going to stay Mitchell if I can, I don’t really like hyphen names because then it takes too long to fill out forms. It’s up to Chloe though really. If it means a lot to her I would consider it, and if she wants to take mine that’s rad too.”
“Rad? Comic books?” Aubrey’s eyebrow quirked at the mini rant. “I thought you were a ‘badass’ not a nerd.”
“Shut it, Posen.” Beca rolled her eyes before once again turning serious. “But, just, that blessing though…”
“Jesus Beca! Of course it’s a yes!” Aubrey pulled Beca up to wrap her arms around the brunette in what was probably only their fifth ever hug. “When are you going to propose? What’s the plan? This is really exciting, Becs. Hey, the Bellas could even perform at the wedding!”
Beca cringed at the thought of drunken Bellas trying to do a drunken rendition of Bruno Mars’ I Think I Want to Marry You.
“Um, Aubrey? Hate to burst your bubble but Chloe would actually have to say yes before there can be a wedding. As for the rest of it, this Friday I’m taking Chloe to that restaurant down the street that she loves. Afterwards I got the lighting guys at the studio to help me out with some mood lighting and Fairy lights so I’m going to dress up the roof. You know, make it look pretty. Sprinkle round some flowers and add in some music and hopefully she’ll be too distracted to see me have a panic attack before I ask her.”
“You have nothing to worry about.” Aubrey replied sincerely, knowing Beca was probably only half joking about the panic attack. You were right, Chloe feels the exact same way about you. Hell I should know, she never has been able to shut up about you, even before you were dating.”
“Really?” Despite her grumblings Beca really did look like a puppy most of the time and it was adorable.
“Yes, Beca.” She smiled at the brunette in an attempt to ease the girl’s worries. “No worries. Just show that girl how in love with her you are and you’ll have her forever, just like you’re planning.”
A genuine smile leaked onto Beca’s face for a second, leading Aubrey to believe this talk not only gave Beca the ‘blessing’ she needed but also a making her a little more confident that she wasn’t about to get her heart stomped on. She was really happy for her best friend, already picturing herself losing the hearing in one ear when the red head would no doubt squeal into the phone in all her excitement. It was going to be a good week for her friends. If she could keep the secret from her best friend that is. Even Aubrey could admit she wasn’t a good liar to those closest to her so perhaps she would have to back off a bit for the next two days if she really wanted to keep the surprise.
“Thanks, Aubrey.” Once again, Beca sounded genuinely sincere. This was probably the most heartfelt conversation the two had ever had alone, usually preferring to go to the others’ girlfriend for advice. “This actually means a lot to me and I’m glad that we have you.”
“Don’t worry about it, Beca.” Aubrey replied, even going so far as to rest her hand upon the brunettes. “Besides, who knows? Perhaps one day this could be me sitting here in front of you, asking for your blessing for Stacie.”
“You want to marry Stacie?” Beca seemed just as surprised as Aubrey was when Beca first asked for her blessing.
“Well, not right now.” It was Aubrey’s turn to flush in embarrassment and Beca’s trademark smirk had returned. “But, maybe sometime in the near future. I mean, we’ve been together for just about as long as you and Chloe and I love her. I’m not there right now but the longer we’re together the more and more I picture the rest of my life. And every time I think about marriage and kids and being old and grey, Stacie is there in every fantasy and every plan.”
“Okay, Soppy,” Beca interrupted. “How about you save some of the romantic feelings crap for the speech you’ll give me next time we talk about this, deal?”
Aubrey wasn’t used to seeing this side of Beca, but she felt that their relationship had grown over the past half an hour. While the conversation started about Chloe, it was the first time they had willingly shared their feelings without force or serious injury. And while this didn’t mean they would be having sleepovers and sharing secrets, Aubrey felt comfortable knowing that if she ever needed anything that she couldn’t talk to Stacie or Chloe about, Beca would be there for her. And she would be there for Beca too, of course. Now all she had to do was secret keep for a few days and then she could go out celebrating with her two best friend and her long-time girlfriend. Then again, Beca was right in saying that Aubrey and Chloe shared everything. If Beca and Chloe weren’t planning on eloping anytime soon, they might even be able to make it a double wedding.